Sunday, December 10, 2006

Uisge Beatha

CD in Play: Super Furry Animals, Mwng.

Bloody hell I love whisky. It's terrible for me, the process of firing peat (or coal) to malt the barley is apparently carcenogenic - but bloody hell, I love whisky. I love the smells, the colour, reading the labels and most of all - the tastes. So many different types of whisky. Bourbon (some I like), Irish (most I like), Rye (never had one I liked) and Scotch. The differences between sidtilleries is so distinct and batches are striking too.
As I stated earlier in the blog, I went out drinking with the Old Man last Friday to Shebeen. Shebeen is a whisky house behind the Irish Heather and sits between Blood Alley and Gaoler's Mews in the Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver. My Dad and I drank The Macallan 15 yrs Fine Oak, the Arran 15 yrs Port cask, one I can't quite remember and the The Balvenie 12yrs Doublewood. My Dad and I both fell in love with The Balvenie Doublewood, aged in both sherry and port casks. Basically, if silk were a liquid it would go down like The Balvenie: smoother than smooth. The Macallan and The Balvenie are both Speyside Highland malts and may just be my favourite distilleries so far.
My Dad's not good with names and when he went out to buy The Balvenie DW he got it confused with another distillery that begins with "b" - Bowmore. Radically different whiskys from different areas completely. The Bowmore is a peaty Islay malt and has hints of the seaside Atlantic. My Dad is also adverse to adding water to his whisky which, in Bowmore's case, really defines the flavour and cuts down the initial bite. His wife, a woman who likes her cups, hates it too. So, alas, it falls to me to drink the Bowmore. Just one of life's many hardships, I suppose.


Blogger Geosomin said...

I"ve never found somewhere here with enough selection to go and try out some goodness, but my uncle loves 15 year old scotch so occasionally I get to try the good stuff. IRish whiskey is good too - the main reason I liek to make homemade baileys...there's always some leftover! If I ever make it out your way again we'll have to go on a whiskey sampling excursion.
As for bourbun...well, you're on your own with that one.

How hard was it to track down the gaelic SFA album? I've heard of it but haven't actually heard it. I thought it was only on vinyl...

11 December, 2006 12:46  
Blogger Geosomin said...

After checcking out Shebeen it reminds me of a place called Bushwakkers we used to go to in Regina. Good scotch, whiskey and beer from around the world, along with a great microbrewery and kickass food.


11 December, 2006 12:48  
Anonymous Gavin said...

Hey! I thought you were going to post about Pinochet! I want my money back! Well, all right, I didn't pay anything, but still . . . .

12 December, 2006 18:47  
Blogger Magnus said...

Gavin: I might draft something up in the next bit.

Geo: Apparently there is a great whiskey house in Cowtown. Huge place, huge selection. Shebeen is short on space but long on character. I had corned beef and cabbage that night as well and it was excellent.
Welsh, btw, is Celtic but not Gaelic. Welsh, Cornish, Manx and Breton are Brythonic. Mwng should be for sale at any store, especially an indie that caters to that sort of music. Look for the Buffalo head smoking a pipe. It was re-released with a bonus disc. Gruff Rhys also has a solo album out in Welsh, but I have yet to hear it.
When you make your baileys do you use Jameson? Everyone seems to use it. For straight drinking whisky my Dad buys Tullamore Dew because it is affordable and still drinkable. Red Breast is my favourite but runs up in price. Bourbon-wise I am pretty selective. My choice is Woodford Reserve and I'd like to try the rarer stuff that never makes it to market here. Some Scottish distilleries use bourbon casks now to age their whisky.

12 December, 2006 19:15  
Blogger Magnus said...

Worst Irish Whisky, IMHO, is John Powers and Sons. Tastes like they used Windex.

12 December, 2006 21:35  

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